Hydroponics to Home (H2H) Project

The Hydroponics to Home (H2H) Project is a two-year grant to continue bridging the gap between local food production and distribution to low- to moderate-income residents, while providing education and training to future food entrepreneurs. This project builds on work done by local food activists, non-profits, and food producers in the community.  

The three-fold approach includes: 

  • expanding the work of our existing urban farms; 
  • providing community education about food entrepreneurship opportunities and benefits of sustainable local food production; and 
  • supporting the introduction of healthy and local foods in our existing corner stores.

Education and Training for Future Food Entrepreneurs

Local Foods Fellowship Program

The Local Foods Fellowship is a paid, 12-month, hands-on and classroom learning and professional development opportunity for Dubuque residents interested in learning about food-based businesses. 

The program is open to individuals residing in the city limits. Residents living in Dubuque’s USDA identified food deserts or designated Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) areas are encouraged to apply. To find out if you live in one of the designated areas, type your address is this interactive map.

Four fellowship participants will receive access to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach courses, an 8-week entrepreneurship skills program, and placement at one of the following sites for hands-on learning:

  • CityGirl Farming and Prepared Meals
    As part of the farm and kitchen team at City Girl Farming Prepared Meals, the fellowship participant will be involved in the farm and meal-prep management sides of the business. They will participate in planting, tending and harvesting as well as seasonal recipe selection and meal prep for our customers. As time allows, participants will also have an opportunity to shadow our founder and learn about running a business behind the scenes.

  • Convivium Urban Farmstead
    As part of the farm team at Convivium Urban Farmstead, the fellowship participant will be intimately involved in all aspects of the growing cycle – from garden planning, seed starts, planting, tending and harvesting our annual crops. They will work closely with the full-time farm manager. As time allows, participants will also assist in our harvest processing, which includes freezing, drying and canning our vegetables and fruits.

  • ReEvolution Farms
    As part of the ReEvolution Farms team, the fellowship participant will have the opportunity to experience all stages of hydroponic plant production; including; seeding, transplanting and harvesting, and the care and maintenance of the hydroponic systems. The participant will also have the opportunity to utilize our certified processing kitchen to learn about freeze drying as an added service and method for creating value added products.

At the conclusion of the fellowship, participants will be provided with an opportunity to showcase a local foods business idea during a graduation celebration. 

Fellowship Stipend

Fellowship participants receive $500 per month, once 40 hours have been logged. The total cash value to each participant is $6,000 over the 12-month fellowship period.

Fellowship Duration and Commitment

The fellowship runs from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2024. If selected, fellowship participants commit to 40 hours per month for 12 months and understand that this includes hands-on learning at their assigned site, virtual courses, and in-person training and development. A required orientation session will be held Jan. 6, 2024. Hands-on learning will be scheduled individually, based on the needs of the site. Participants will be required to attend courses and in-person training offered by program partners. These dates have not been set, but advance notice will be provided.

Fellowship Application

The application deadline is Nov. 17, 2023.
Applications submitted by the Nov. 17 deadline will be reviewed by the fellowship committee and top candidates will be invited to present a 5-minute pitch presentation and Q&A to the fellowship committee in early December. Selected fellows will be notified in mid-December 2023. Download fellowship program information and helpful application tips! 

Questions or Accommodations

If you have any questions about the fellowship application process or require a different application format, contact the H2H Grant Project Manager Candace Eudaley-Loebach via email or at 563-580-7212.

Project Background & Funding

The City’s Housing and Community Development Department has been working with a group of community stakeholders since December 2021 to identify solutions to equitable food access in the Dubuque community. In July 2022, the City allocated over $96,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to support this effort.

With the secured CDBG funding, the City supported the development of a community kitchen, increased capacity for local hydroponic growers to provide fresh greens at Famers Market at discounted prices to low- and moderate-income shoppers, and supported food recovery efforts by collecting unpurchased produce from Farmers Market and delivering it to the local food pantry for distribution.

To continue and expand the work that the CDBG funds supported, in May 2023 the City applied for and received a $300,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UIAP) Implementation Project Grant for the Hydroponics to Home (H2H) Project, including the Innovation in Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program. 

For questions or more information about the City's efforts related to equitable food access, contact Urban Development & Housing Rehabilitation Project Manager Maddy Haverland via email or at 563-690-6102.